The Performance Bar at this year’s SummerWorks festival features performance artist Henri Faberge as he undergoes art court. During each performance throughout SummerWorks, the downstairs stage at the Lower Ossington Theatre is transformed into court where local SummerWorks artists and beyond are placed on trial to determine whether what they offer can really be considered “art”.
In a cabaret style performance, the judges of this occult styled arts trial, Kayla Lorette and Alex Tindal, already have Henri Faberge in chains. He is doomed to perform the same song a thousand times, much to the judges’ annoyed dismay. The schtick is the ongoing theme throughout the Performance Bar concerts.
Featured on the docket during Tuesday’s show were musician D. Alex Meeks performing in the style of South Carolina native Holiday Rambler and performance artist/comedian/overall entertainer Bridget Moser.
There was also a third performer, one from the ‘future’, an all-around entertainer. His act involved comedy (and though the judges had determined that comedy isn’t an art, we’re assured that in the future they’ve reconsidered and stricken it from the records), balloons, sport and dance. Being made aware that, in the future, entertainers only have five minutes to perform for a crowd at any given time, sport and dance combined with props to make for an awkward tangled mess.
In general, the show was entertaining. The judges with their snide remarks on how much of art these days can barely be considered art, especially not comedy, the way they treated the presence of Henri in their prison as the bane of their existence and the fact that he has to perform the same song nightly was all great for a few laughs.
It’s a quick and simple set up – the stage, the performers, the music and sounds. It’s not clean, or polished, it’s not supposed to be.
The highlight for me was Meeks as Holiday Rambler, he’s a great musician and singer and has excellent musicianship on the guitar and drums. He embodied the southern soul where rock and country intersect.
The Performance Bar nightly concerts are free to attend which make for a great musical break during your SummerWorks outings this festival. It’s worth checking out to see what other artists take the stand during Henri Faberge’s art trial.